Shortcut Through the Dark
Cuz I’m a big dork, I have to explain my connection to ODESZA. For those who are not die hard fans (like myself) you might not know that the duo formed in Bellingham by way of Spokane during their time attending Western Washington University (where I’m about to snag a couple Bachelor’s degrees). But they weren’t the only Spokomptonites to move to Bedlamhurst. Oh no, they brought their buddy, Brian with them. And where does Brian end up working? Why, none other than the good, ol’ Fountain Bistro & Drive Thru, where I cooked for three miserable years. Of course, by then ODESZA had already blown up and toured with Pretty Lights, was dominating Pandora and all the other streaming services, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re Bellinghampsters, just like the rest of us. They even let Jenni Potts have some of the action, once or twice. Anyway, I played a show with Brian and he lived with them back in the day so, by that logic, I’m essentially besties with Catacombkid and BeachesBeaches.
Like I said, I am an ODESZA super-fan to the core. We listened to three of their albums on repeat while my first daughter (Helen) was being born and both kids continue to request “Say My Name” at every dance party they attend. I have enjoyed their progression from basement trap to Diplo-esque EDM-Pop and Symphonic Electronica (symphonica?). I like it all and would have been satisfied if they stayed the course till morning, but the new turn they have taken with Bronson is like aurora borealis in an acid peak. It has all of their pop rationale, but with an added layer of gloom and melancholy. Tracks, like “Know Me,” almost bum me out with their simple evocative synth stabs and emo vocals, but the effect is more like listening to a Burial album. I find myself swaying around the room trying to dance with inanimate objects and being spurned for my warm blood. I guess what I’m slitting at is that Bronson is goth as fuck! I hear hints of Telafon Tel Aviv and Lorn and Amon Tobin and, all throughout, the spine of ODESZA bends but never breaks!
It is important to acknowledge that this album is a collaboration with Australian producer Golden Features, who I know nothing about, but was able to find on Wikipedia, so consider him vetted. From the album’s apocalyptic tension and dystopian sense of impending doom, dude has definitely got salt. I’m really curious to see what other projects he has worked on. Bronson is without a doubt my favorite ODESZA album. It’s gritty on the teeth and makes me want to drive into a night that never finds a dawn.
You’re gonna want to bump “Know Me” and “Keep Moving” as loud as your stereo can go. 9.5 stars